NS4965 : Playing field beside Arkleston Road

taken 7 years ago, near to Renfrew, Renfrewshire, Great Britain

Playing field beside Arkleston Road
Playing field beside Arkleston Road
A NS4965 : Path through the woods leads to the point from which this picture was taken. No entirely unobstructed view was possible, but the elevated viewpoint does at least make for easier comparison with the map.

[See NS4965 : Playing field beside Arkleston Road for a later (2018) view from within the playing field itself.]

The road on the right is Arkleston Road, and the houses on the left are in the Gallowhill area. The three high flats on the left are shown at NS4965 : Gallowhill Court and linked images.

The goalposts indicate the current use of the grassy space, but the area has an interesting history. The nearest part of it was formerly the site of two reservoirs, one centred on NS49936544, and the other, immediately to the south-west of it, centred on NS49906540. They were not present when the first-edition OS map was surveyed in 1857, but they are on the second-edition map, revised in about 1895. They were in the area that appears in the foreground of this picture. Over to the right, on the near side of the road, was Arkleston Print Works, centred on NS49886555 (a rough indication of where the works stood in relation to this picture: from the further of the two goal posts, the site occupied by the works extended directly to the right, as far as to the main road).

The site was originally occupied by Walter Drybrough & Company, a yarn dyeing and yarn printing business. However, that company would later be taken over by another firm: Kerr & Co, manufacturers and finishers, in Paisley, was taken over by the Ross Family, who carried on the work of cloth finishers. Their business expanded rapidly, and they moved to a site on Seedhill Road in 1888, where they had built a new and larger finishing works. In addition to finishing cloth, they began, in 1908, dyeing it. To that end, they took over the aforementioned works of Walter Drybrough and Co at Arkleston, and carried on their cloth dyeing at that site, as "Seedhill Yarn Dyeing and Yarn Printing Co, Arkleston Works, Paisley". The company continued with the other side of their business at the existing Seedhill Road works, as "Seedhill Finishing Company, Ltd, dyers, mercerisers, printers and finishers, Ralston St, Seedhill Road, Paisley".

Just to the west of the reservoirs, the second-edition map shows two smaller and more irregular bodies of water, one at NS49856544 (just in front of the houses), the other at NS49806545 (now under some houses). Those pools are older than the reservoirs, as shown by their appearance on the first-edition OS map (surveyed in 1857). Their origin is not apparent from the OS maps alone. However, it turns out that they were once quarries.

A useful description of this area can be found on pages 273-276 of an issue of "The Geological Magazine" (New Series, Decade VI, Vol IV, January to December 1917). The article in question is by Peter MacNair, FRSE, FGS, and has the unpromising title "The Horizon of the Type-Specimens of Dr Scouler's Dithyrocaris tricornis and D testudinea". However, the article contains a useful geological description of the area shown in the present picture, with an accompanying map which shows the two irregular pools mentioned above; on that map, they are labelled "Old Quarries", and are shown to lie within an area of Gallowhill Limestone. The article's most relevant section is as follows:

"As has already been stated, no exposures of the Gallowhill Limestone can now be seen at any of the localities where it was formerly worked. But the position of two of the quarries south of Arkleston Print Works can still be seen. Another quarry appears to have been opened a little to the south of Gallowhill, opposite the Mote Hill. The positions of these quarries are indicated on the map, and they seem to have been somewhat extensively worked about the year 1835, when Scouler's fossils were found, the old Powder Magazine between Arkleston and South Arkleston having been built of it, as well as a large number of the dykes in the Gallowhill Policies. It was also used in some walls in the neighbourhood of the Paisley Barracks, where it can still be seen."

The location of the long-gone Arkleston Print Works was given above. On the location of the "Mote Hill" mentioned here, see NS4865 : The Marjory Bruce Cairn. The unqualified "Arkleston" refers to Arkleston House (now gone), formerly West Arkleston: see NS4965 : Path through the woods for its former site, and see NS5065 : Arkleston for more information. The NS5065 : South Arkleston that was also mentioned in the quoted excerpt still stands. For "the old Powder Magazine" (no longer in existence), see NS5065 : Former site of powder magazine; there was another quarry near that building: NS5065 : Former site of quarry.
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Grid Square
NS4965, 57 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Saturday, 11 January, 2014   (more nearby)
Saturday, 25 January, 2014
Geographical Context
Sport, Leisure  Quarrying, Mining  Derelict, Disused 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4991 6544 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:51.5228N 4:23.9730W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4999 6540
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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